For a film that fits so snugly into the tried-and-true formula of star-crossed lovers, Dear John
is full of pleasant surprises.
The setup is a familiar one: In February of 2001, 21-year-old Special Forces officer John Tyree (Channing Tatum) meets college student Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried) while he's on leave and she's on spring break. After a two-week courtship, they have sworn their eternal love and promise to get back together in one year after his tour is up and she graduates with a special education teaching degree. In the meantime, they exchange letters -- since he's being transferred all around the globe, snail mail turns out to be the m...